Four of the best from MIFF create regional buzz

AUSTRALIAN-MADE: A scene from the thriller Jungle, directed by Greg McLean and starring Daniel Radcliffe. The film explores male friendship and resilience.
AUSTRALIAN-MADE: A scene from the thriller Jungle, directed by Greg McLean and starring Daniel Radcliffe. The film explores male friendship and resilience.

Four films are set to charm audiences in Ballarat when the Melbourne International Film Festival Travelling Showcase arrives on Friday. 

Australian-made survival thriller Jungle kicks off the three-day event, starring Daniel Radcliffe and directed by Greg McLean, who rose to fame with Wolf Creek.

Also to feature are The Butterfly Tree, a coming-of-age tale of love and loss starring Australian actress Melissa George, Central Australia’s answer to the Buena Vista Social Club, The Song Keepers,and award-winning Swedish feature, Sami Blood.

MIFF artistic director Michelle Carey said the films were selected from a pool of more than 360.

“We chose these ones because of the diversity, but we also wanted to have a strong Australian representation and we thought the films would work well with audiences,” she said. 

Three of the four films are directed by women and led by strong female characters, with The Butterfly Tree marking Priscilla Cameron’s directing debut.

Ms Carey said it was “really exciting” to have so much female representation.

The tour also offers a free screening of a set of short films, and includes special guest appearances from cast and crew.

For Ballarat, The Song Keepers editor Bergen O'Brien will be on hand to answer questions on how the film was put together at Saturday’s screening. 

Ms Carey said the regional tour, which has been travelling since the start of September, had received a “really positive” response and continued to attract a bigger audience every year.

“We are called the Melbourne International Film Festival, but we see ourselves as accessible for all Victorians,” Ms Carey said. 

“We want to bring a piece of MIFF to the eight regions we visit every year across September and October, and we would love to bring more films.”

While the four selected features have all resonated with audiences, Ms Carey said there had been one film in particular creating a buzz. 

The Song Keepers is the one people keep mentioning, it’s the one people really seem to love and it is a very special film,” she said. 

The MIFF Travelling Showcase runs from Friday until Sunday at Ballarat’s Regent Cinemas. For more information or tickets visit miff.com.au/travelling.